Spurs end run of defeats
SAN ANTONIO (AP):
An undermanned San Antonio beat Houston 110-106 on Sunday to end a run of six successive defeats against their Texas rivals, tightening up the hard-fought NBA Southwest Division.
The Spurs are fourth in the division, but only four games off leaders Memphis, who were sent back to the top by Houston's defeat, with the Rockets slipping to second.
Between them is Dallas, which staged a fourth-quarter rally led by Dirk Nowitzki to beat Oklahoma City, while Toronto extended their lead in the Eastern Conference by downing Denver.
San Antonio's Danny Green had 24 points - including four straight free throws in the final minute - and Tim Duncan scored 16 for the Spurs, who were without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker due to injury.
James Harden had 28 points for Houston, Dwight Howard added 24 points and 17 rebounds, and Corey Brewer scored 25 points.
Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki matched his season high with 30 points to steer the Mavericks to a 112-107 victory over Oklahoma City. Chandler Parsons added 26 for the Mavericks, who trailed by seven to start the fourth quarter and were without centre Tyson Chandler due to pre-game back spasms.
The Thunder played their sixth straight game without Kevin Durant because of a sprained ankle. Serge Ibaka led Oklahoma City with a season-high 26 points.
Toronto made it seven wins from eight by winning 116-102 at Denver, with Kyle Lowry contributing 30 points and 11 assists.
Lou Williams scored 31 points as the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors completed a sweep of the season series against the Nuggets. Ty Lawson led Denver with 28 points and Wilson Chandler had 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Portland's Wesley Matthews had 28 points, including six three-pointers, to lead the Trail Blazers to a 101-79 thrashing of New York, with the struggling Knicks having only nine players available and suffering their eighth-straight loss.
Phoenix extended their run of wins to six by beating the Los Angeles Lakers 116-107, with Eric Bledsoe scoring 20 of his 22 after half-time.
Detroit used an 18-0 run in the second quarter to set up a surprisingly comfortable 103-80 win at Cleveland.